Honors Program

To be admitted into the Department of English and Communication’s Honors Program, a student must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a SUNY Potsdam student with one of the following majors/concentrations: Communication; Literature; Literature/Writing; Professional Writing; Creative Writing; B.F.A. in Creative Writing.
  • Have completed at least 60 hours but not more than 90 hours toward the B.A. 
  • Have at least two semesters remaining before graduation. 
  • Have completed at least 15 hours in the major (at least 9 of these hours must be Upper Division and at least 6 must be at SUNY Potsdam).
  • Have an overall GPA of at least 3.25. 
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major. 

Recommended procedure 

  • Student is invited and accepts (or applies and is accepted—see below). 
  • Student, in consultation with the chair, selects an Honors Adviser (may or may not be the student's academic adviser). 
  • The student develops an Honors Thesis Proposal in consultation with the Honors' Adviser. The proposal should ideally be completed during the junior year so a significant portion of the senior year can be devoted to the thesis.
  • The student will enroll in a 3-credit tutorial called “Honors Thesis” with his/her Honors' Adviser as the instructor. 
  • Once complete, the thesis must be approved by the Honors’ Adviser and the student must present her/his work at a department honors colloquium.
  • The chair will work with library faculty to assign a librarian as mentor to each of the honors students.  

Requirements to Graduate with Honors

  • Complete two 500-level courses in the English/Communication Department, selected in consultation with the student’s Honors Adviser.
  • Write an Honors Thesis (25-50 pages). 
  • Enroll in a 3-credit tutorial called “Honors Thesis” with his/her Honors' Adviser as the instructor. 
  • Present the Honors Thesis at a Departmental Honors Colloquium. 
  • Graduate with a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major.  


  • Students who are eligible will be invited by the department chair to apply. 
  • If a student's GPA or number of credits varies slightly from the requirements above, a student may submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty member and an application to the department chair.
  • The departmental honors committee will host an honors colloquium each May and December as needed. 

Departmental Honors Theses

  • Tiffany Miner. "Women's Power and Agency in 19th Century Novels." 2014.
  • Zachary Sandecki. "Towards Positive Development in Buffalo, New York's East Side." 2014.
  • Vincent Dubay.  "The Authorial Dentist: Dr. Thomas William parsons as translator of Dante's Inferno."  2013.
  • Anne Fildes.  "Great Power Requires Great Sacrifice: Power Dynamics and Family Structures in ABC's Once Upon A Time."  2013
  • Anthony Prescott.  "Identity Through Creation: An Exploration of the Homeric and Biblical Traditions in Melville's Moby Dick."  2013.
  • Bernard Widell.  "Waiyaki and Asogba: Failure and Departure From the Bildungsroman Structure."  2013.
  • Geoffrey van der Woude.  2012.
  • Kristopher Wilson.  2012.
  • Carter Jones.  "Mandolin's Meats." 2011.
  • Amanda Sherman.  "Standard English as the Great Silencer: Composition Work from SRTOL to 'Language Difference in Writing.'"  2011.
  • Brenna Link. "The Rhetoric of Villains in Spartacus: Blood and Sand."  2010. 
  • Henric Nielsen.  "A Swedish Tiger."  2010.
  • Chelsea Summers.  "School Shootings in Contemporary Film and Fiction: A Study in Media Mythologies."  2010.
  • Kathryn Goloski.  "The Pursuit of Nihilism in Herman Melville's Late Fiction."  2008.
  • Rebecca Jewell.  "Local Women of Suffrage."  2008.
  • Emily Lazovik.  "The Medical Connotations of Female Villainy in Gothic Literature."  2008.
  • Matthew Short.  "Reading Italo Calvino."  2008.
  • Kelly Currier.  "William Blake and Childhood in the Romantic Period."  2006.
  • Adam Bulizak.  "On Magic Realism."  2006.